This week I was asked to write a blog post for the Huffington Post’s TEDWeekends, “a curated series that introduces a powerful ‘idea worth spreading’ every Friday morning, anchored by an exceptional TEDTalk video from TED’s extensive library.”
In the blog post, I reference my long history with mental illness. For those of you who follow my blog here on WordPress, this is nothing new. However, TEDWeekends is a completely different audience, one that is significantly broader. When I spoke to my friends this week about the blog post I was writing, many expressed their concern about discussing such a deeply personal subject in a very public arena. One friend said that because of the heavy stigma of mental illness that many readers wouldn’t be able to see past it and that I would be labeled as “Clara Lieu, the manic depressive.” Submitting the article would be a huge risk. For this reason, I’ve been very torn over the past few days about whether or not to submit this blog post for TEDWeekends.
Then I remembered the New York Times article that came out in January 2013, “Successful and Schizophrenic”, written by Elyn Saks, a legal scholar and a mental-health policy advocate. I found Saks’ TED talk, in which she reveals her personal experience with schizophrenia. After watching the talk, I became fiercely determined to publish my blog post with TEDWeekends. Saks did it, so can I.